Parliamentary Committee of the Trades Union Congress

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The Parliamentary Committee of the Trades Union Congress was the leading body of the British trade union movement from 1871 until 1921.

Contents

History

The Trades Union Congress (TUC) was established in 1868 and formed a committee to act on its decisions and direct activities between conferences. Initially, this was an informal body, and the leading role in the movement was taken by the unelected "Junta", with limited backing from their Conference of Amalgamated Trades. In 1871, they decided to dissolve their organisation and throw their support behind the TUC. [1]

Now occupying the leading position in the British trade union movement, the TUC decided to formalise its activities. Its committee was re-established as the "Parliamentary Committee", indicating that, at that time, the TUC was focused on lobbying the Parliament of the United Kingdom to enact new legislation favourable to workers, and to ensure that current legislation was enforced. [2]

Trade union membership grew rapidly during the life of the committee, and it was enlarged on several occasions, settling for a time at 12 members, then reaching a maximum of 16. [2] After a rail strike in 1919 was resolved by mediation, Ernest Bevin proposed that the TUC should take on a mediation role throughout the movement. A committee investigated the proposal, and concurred, but argued that the Parliamentary Committee could not take on the work, as it was under-resourced and insufficiently representative. In 1921, it was replaced by the General Council of the TUC, an enlarged body which employed full-time members of staff. [3]

Members

A full list of members is available in the Trades Union Congress's Report of the 1921 Annual Trades Union Congress. Additional details are from W. J. Davis, History of the British Trades Union Congress.

1868 to 1871

There were six members of the informal committee which existed until 1871:

YearSecretary/
Chairman
MemberMemberMemberMemberMember
1868 W. H. Wood
Manchester TC
C. D. Dewhurst
Bradford TC
William Dronfield
Sheffield TC
George Potter
London TC
Peter Shorrocks
Manchester TC
Thomas J. Wilkinson
Birmingham TC
1869 George Potter
London TC
Alfred Bailey
Tailors
Edwin Coulson
Bricklayers
George Howell
Bricklayers
John Kane
Ironworkers
1870

In 1871, an exploratory Parliamentary Committee was created with five members.

YearSecretaryChairmanMemberMemberMember
1871 George Howell
Bricklayers
George Potter
London TC
Lloyd Jones
Manchester Fustian
Joseph Leicester
Flint Glass Makers
Alexander Macdonald
Miners

1872 to 1906

The Parliamentary Committee was firmly established at the 1872 Congress, with nine members, although William Allan was given an additional place for the first year.

YearSecretaryChairmanTreasurerYearMemberMemberMemberMemberMemberMemberMemberMemberMemberMember
1872 George Howell
Bricklayers
Alexander Macdonald
Miners
William Allan
Engineers
1872 Thomas Halliday
Amalg. Miners
William Hicking
Nottingham TC
David Higham
Typographical
John Kane
Ironworkers
William Leigh
Spinners
William H. Leatherland
Nottingham TC
George Thomas
London Shoemakers
10 members in 1872/3
18731873 Daniel Guile
Iron Founders
William Owen
Turners
George Odger
London TC
Thomas Plackett
Leeds TC
Peter Shorrocks
Tailors
9 members in 1873/4
1874 Alfred Bailey
Tailors
Daniel Guile
Iron Founders
1874 William Allan
Engineers
Joseph Arch
Agricultural
Andrew Boa
Glasgow TC
Henry Broadhurst
Stonemasons
Alexander Macdonald
Miners
Thomas Mottershead
Preston TC
William Rolley
Sheffield TC
11 members 1874 1894
1875 Robert Knight
Boilermakers
1875 Thomas Birtwistle
NE Lancs Weavers
Thomas Halliday
Miners
John Kane
Ironworkers
John D. Prior
Amalg. Carpenters
George Shipton
London Painters
Henry Broadhurst
Stonemasons
John Kane
Ironworkers
George Shipton
London Painters
Alfred Bailey
Tailors
John Battersby
Scottish Typographical
Robert Knight
Boilermakers
Henry Taylor
Agricultural
1876 John D. Prior
Amalg. Carpenters
1876 Joseph Arch
Agricultural
John Burnett
Engineers
18771877 George M. Ball
Agricultural
Thomas Birtwistle
NE Lancs Weavers
John Inglis
Blacksmiths
Henry Slatter
Typographical
Thomas Smith
Boot & Shoe
18781878 William Crawford
Durham Miners
James Fitzpatrick
Liverpool TC
1879 Henry Slatter
Typographical
John Burnett
Engineers
1879 Alfred Bailey
Tailors
John D. Prior
Amalg. Carpenters
George Shipton
London Painters
1880 William Crawford
Durham Miners
1880 Henry Slatter
Typographical
1881 Thomas Birtwistle
NE Lancs Weavers
1881 William Crawford
Durham Miners
W. J. Davis
Brassworkers
William Paterson
Scottish Carpenters
Henry Slatter
Typographical
1882 John Inglis
Blacksmiths
1882 Thomas Birtwistle
NE Lancs Weavers
James Mawdsley
Spinners
1883 Alfred Bailey
Tailors
1883 John Inglis
Blacksmiths
G. D. Kelley
Printers
W. H. Leatherland
Nottingham TC
James S. Murchie
Amalg. Carpenters
George Shipton
London Painters
1884 James S. Murchie
Amalg. Carpenters
1884 Alfred Bailey
Tailors
J. M. Jack
Iron Moulders
James Mawdsley
Spinners
George Sedgwick
Boot & Shoe
1885 George Shipton
London Painters
James Mawdsley
Spinners
1885 James S. Murchie
Amalg. Carpenters
1886 Henry Broadhurst
Stonemasons
J. M. Jack
Iron Moulders
Henry Slatter
Typographical
1886 James Mawdsley
Spinners
George Shipton
London Painters
James Swift
Steam Engine Makers
Stuart Uttley
Sheffield TC
1887 William Crawford
Durham Miners
1887 Edward Harford
Railway Servants
John Inglis
Blacksmiths
William Inskip
Boot & Shoe
J. M. Jack
Iron Moulders
G. D. Kelley
Printers
1888 George Shipton
London Painters
1888 William Crawford
Durham Miners
James S. Murchie
Amalg. Carpenters
1889 James Swift
Steam Engine Makers
1889 George Shipton
London Painters
Havelock Wilson
Sailors
1890 Charles Fenwick
Northumberland Miners
Edward Harford
Railway Servants
William Inskip
Boot & Shoe
1890 John Burns
Engineers
J. M. Jack
Iron Moulders
G. D. Kelley
Printers
William Matkin
General Carpenters
Benjamin Pickard
Miners
Stuart Uttley
Sheffield TC
1891 John Wilson
Durham Miners
1891 Thomas Birtwistle
Weavers
Edward Harford
Railway Servants
John Inglis
Blacksmiths
James Mawdsley
Spinners
T. R. Threlfall
Typographical
1892 Havelock Wilson
Sailors
1892 John Anderson
Engineers
John Hodge
Steel Smelters
David Holmes
Weavers
J. M. Jack
Iron Moulders
Ben Tillett
General Labourers
John Wilson
Durham Miners
1893 John Burns
Engineers
1893 Henry Broadhurst
Stonemasons
Edward Cowey
Miners
Havelock Wilson
Sailors
1894 Sam Woods
Miners
David Holmes
Weavers
1894 John Burns
Engineers
Edward Harford
Railway Servants
Richard Sheldon
Belfast TC
Will Thorne
Gasworkers
1895 Edward Cowey
Miners
1895 Francis Chandler
Amalg. Carpenters
George Ferguson
Engineers
John Hodge
Steel Smelters
David Holmes
Weavers
Alexander Wilkie
Shipwrights
1896 Will Thorne
Gasworkers
1896 Edward Cowey
Miners
W. J. Davis
Brassworkers
Robert Knight
Boilermakers
1897 Alexander Wilkie
Shipwrights
1897 C. W. Bowerman
London Compositors
William Mullin
Cardroom
Will Thorne
Gasworkers
1898 W. J. Davis
Brassworkers
1898 Walter Hudson
Railway Servants
Alexander Wilkie
Shipwrights
1899 Francis Chandler
Amalg. Carpenters
C. W. Bowerman
London Compositors
1899 W. J. Davis
Brassworkers
W. Boyd Hornidge
Boot & Shoe
W. C. Steadman
Thames Barge Builders
1900 C. W. Bowerman
London Compositors
W. J. Davis
Brassworkers
1900 Charles Hobson
Kindred Trades
James Sexton
Dock Labourers
1901 W. C. Steadman
Thames Barge Builders
1901 C. W. Bowerman
Compositors
Francis Chandler
Amalg. Carpenters
D. C. Cummings
Boilermakers
1902 W. Boyd Hornidge
Boot & Shoe
W. C. Steadman
Thames Barge Builders
1902 Richard Bell
Railway Servants
David Holmes
Weavers
1903 Richard Bell
Railway Servants
1903 W. J. Davis
Brassworkers
A. H. Gill
Cotton Spinners
W. Boyd Hornidge
Boot & Shoe
1904 James Sexton
Dock Labourers
W. J. Davis
Brassworkers
1904 Richard Bell
Railway Servants
James Haslam
Miners
David Shackleton
Weavers
W. C. Steadman
Thames Barge Builders
Alexander Wilkie
Shipwrights
1905 W. C. Steadman
Thames Barge Builders
D. C. Cummings
Boilermakers
1905 Francis Chandler
Amalg. Carpenters
James Sexton
Dock Labourers
1906 A. H. Gill
Cotton Spinners
1906 George Barnes
Engineers
D. C. Cummings
Boilermakers

1907 to 1916

The committee was restructured at the 1907 Congress, sixteen members being elected. Eleven were elected from trade groups, and five from a "miscellaneous trades" group. [4] Additionally, the secretary was elected separately. Davis continued to serve as treasurer for three more years before the post was abolished. Since 1900, the chairman had gone on to become president at the annual congress, and this practice was continued.

After only one year, the Engineers group was abolished, its seat given to the Miscellaneous Trades group, and most of the other groups were renumbered.

The groups were as follows:

Group (1907)Group (1908 1916)Trades
11Boilermakers and Iron and Steel Shipbuilders
22Building Trades
33Cotton Operatives
44Dock Labourers, Stevedores, Cranemen, Enginemen, etc.
5AbolishedEngineers
65Gasworkers and General Labourers
76Metal Workers
87Miners
98Printing and Paper Trades
109Railway Servants
1110Weavers
1211Miscellaneous Trades

The members in this period were:

YearSecretaryBoilermakersBuildingCottonDockEngineersGasworkersMetalMinersPrintingRailwayWeaversMiscellaneousMiscellaneousMiscellaneousMiscellaneousMiscellaneousMiscellaneous
1907 W. C. Steadman
Thames Barge Builders
D. C. Cummings
Boilermakers
Francis Chandler
Amalg. Carpenters
A. H. Gill
Spinners
James Sexton
Dock Labourers
George Barnes
Engineers
Will Thorne
Gasworkers
W. J. Davis
Brassworkers
James Haslam
Miners
C. W. Bowerman
Compositors
Richard Bell
Railway Servants
David Shackleton
Weavers
Ben Cooper
Cigar Makers
W. Boyd Hornidge
Boot & Shoe
William Mosses
Patternmakers
Joe Williams
Musicians
Alexander Wilkie
Shipwrights
Seat added 1908
1908 William Mullin
Cardroom
Thomas Watson
Enginemen
Group abolished Matthew Arrandale
Machine Workers
Harry Gosling
Watermen
J. A. Seddon
Shop Assistants
1909 John Hill
Boilermakers
James Sexton
Dock Labourers
Herbert Emery
Bakers
J. H. Jenkins
Shipwrights
1910 J. E. Williams
Railwaymen
1911 C. W. Bowerman
London Compositors
William Matkin
General Carpenters
Alfred Evans
Printers' Warehousemen
J. W. Ogden
Weavers
1912 George Edwards
Agricultural
Joe Williams
Musicians
1913 A. H. Gill
Spinners
Herbert Smith
Miners
William Mosses
Patternmakers
Alfred Smith
Vehicle Workers
1914
1915 Francis Chandler
Amalg. Carpenters
William Mullin
Cardroom
Herbert Skinner
Typographical

1916 to 1921

From 1916, the trade groups were no longer used for elections. The council was enlarged to seventeen members plus the secretary. In 1919, it was cut back again to sixteen members.

YearSecretaryMemberMemberMemberMemberMemberMemberMemberMemberMemberMemberMemberMemberMemberMemberMemberMemberMember
1916 C. W. Bowerman
London Compositors
Fred Bramley
Furnishing
W. J. Davis
Brassworkers
T. A. Flynn
Tailors
Harry Gosling
Watermen
John Hill
Boilermakers
J. H. Jenkins
Shipwrights
Edward Judson
Spinners
William Mosses
Patternmakers
J. W. Ogden
Weavers
Alfred Onions
Miners
Edward L. Poulton
Boot & Shoe
James Sexton
Dock Labourers
Robert Smillie
Miners
G. H. Stuart-Bunning
Postmen
J. H. Thomas
Railwaymen
Will Thorne
Gasworkers
R. B. Walker
Agricultural
1917 Frederick Hall
Miners
Herbert Skinner
Typographical
Joe Williams
Musicians
1918 Margaret Bondfield
General Workers
Thomas Greenall
Miners
Robert Shirkie
Enginemen
Havelock Wilson
Sailors
1919 Henry Boothman
Spinners
A. A. Purcell
Furnishing
Alonzo Swales
Engineers
Reduced to 16 members from 1919
1920 John Beard
Workers Union
Arthur Pugh
Iron & Steel
Robert Smillie
Miners
Alfred Smith
Vehicle Workers

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References

  1. G. D. H. Cole, A Short History of the British Working Class Movement: 1848-1900, pp.104-105
  2. 1 2 University of Warwick, "The Trades Union Congress, 1936-1939: Its history and organisation"
  3. Gerald A. Dorfman, British Trade Unionism Against the Trades Union Congress, p.6
  4. Annual Report of the 1907 Trades Union Congress, pp.194-195